20th Conference on Hydrology
AMS Forum: Managing our Physical and Natural Resources: Successes and Challenges
AMS Forum: Environmental Risk and Impacts on Society: Successes and Challenges


Results of short fuse weather warning surveys in Austin, TX and Denver, CO

Lindsey R. Barnes, Univ. of Colorado, Colorado Springs, CO; and E. Gruntfest, C. Benight, M. H. Hayden, C. C. Jenkins, M. Q. Thurman, and E. Williams

Improved flash flood warning messages have great potential to reduce losses. While there have been many advances in forecasting and warning technology, there is still a need to better reach diverse at-risk populations. The Warning Project, funded by the National Science Foundation, is examining this aspect of flash flood warnings. Through collaboration between Geography and Psychology, the project takes into account how demographic characteristics, previous experience with flooding and previous traumatic experience affect public perceptions and warning responses. This presentation will report on findings from surveys which were mailed to floodplain residents in Denver, CO and Austin. TX.

Findings show that demographic characteristics influence flooding perceptions, willingness to take protective actions and willingness to take risks, including concern about false alarms and driving through flooded roadways. There is also a correlation between previous traumatic experience and perceived ability to feel safe in a flash flood situation. The presentation will focus on a summary of the findings from our survey responses and will discuss the need for re-evaluation of aspects of policy related to the warning process.


Joint Session 8, Flood Warning Systems (Joint with 20th Conference on Hydrology and Forum on Managing our Physical and Natural Resources and Forum: Environmental Risk and Impacts on Society: Successes and Challenges)
Thursday, 2 February 2006, 8:30 AM-12:15 PM, A403

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